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Unread 02-20-2006, 02:14 AM   #31
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Best guitarist ever! Let's see, are you asking who's the best jazz guitarist ever? Or, best bluegrass? Blues? How about slide? Or country? What about classical? Or rock? Well, what kind of rock - classic, hard rock, metal, punk, raggae? Jazz/rock fusion? Surf music? Flamenco? How about improvisational or comping? Best fingerpicker? Best flatpicker? What about dobro or steel guitar? Hawaiian slack key? Best studio guitar player? Have I missed any? Among those that have been listed, they might be good at what they do, but the best guitarist ever?

My point is, there are so many good guitar players in every genre, and you will never see or appreciate them if you aren't exposed to all types of music. But I think jazz players get the nod. I used to think Jeff Beck was the greatest until I started listening to jazz. Problem is, many here (not all), have not been exposed to the really great ones like Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Django Reinhardt, Howard Roberts, Joe Pass, etc., so these guys will not pop up on most lists. The fact that Vai and Satch got mentioned a lot tells me what music most are listening to, but does that really make them the best?

For every guy who's made it, there are dozens who were just as good, but never got the right song or opportunity, or he was in the studio recording for some famous front man or woman. A classic example of a great studio guy would be Larry Carlton or Jeff Skunk Baxter. Just my $.02.

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Unread 02-20-2006, 09:51 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopeful
Best guitarist ever! Let's see, are you asking who's the best jazz guitarist ever? Or, best bluegrass? Blues? How about slide? Or country? What about classical? Or rock? Well, what kind of rock - classic, hard rock, metal, punk, raggae? Jazz/rock fusion? Surf music? Flamenco? How about improvisational or comping? Best fingerpicker? Best flatpicker? What about dobro or steel guitar? Hawaiian slack key? Best studio guitar player? Have I missed any? Among those that have been listed, they might be good at what they do, but the best guitarist ever?

My point is, there are so many good guitar players in every genre, and you will never see or appreciate them if you aren't exposed to all types of music. But I think jazz players get the nod. I used to think Jeff Beck was the greatest until I started listening to jazz. Problem is, many here (not all), have not been exposed to the really great ones like Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Django Reinhardt, Howard Roberts, Joe Pass, etc., so these guys will not pop up on most lists. The fact that Vai and Satch got mentioned a lot tells me what music most are listening to, but does that really make them the best?

For every guy who's made it, there are dozens who were just as good, but never got the right song or opportunity, or he was in the studio recording for some famous front man or woman. A classic example of a great studio guy would be Larry Carlton or Jeff Skunk Baxter. Just my $.02.
I agree with you, I said that personally I would pick Vai. My reason for that is not based on any style, but the degree to which he is able to express himself on his instrument, and his command of the instrument. I think that he has a greater ability to pick up a guitar and make it say what he wants it to say than any player I've ever heard.

Of course that's completely subjective and by no means the final word on it
My measurement for players has always been how well they are able to express themselves on the instrument. Ands the command over the instrument they have (I think the more control, and command you have over the instrument the more tools are available to you, and the better you can express yourself)

So just to have fun with it... who do you think is the best ever?
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Unread 02-20-2006, 10:05 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by metropolis4
I think that he has a greater ability to pick up a guitar and make it say what he wants it to say than any player I've ever heard.
Listen to Wes and you'll be kicking yourself for saying that about Vai.
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Unread 02-20-2006, 10:16 AM   #34
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As far as I know,to be the best,you have to pretty much play all styles of guitar music.I don't know of any guitarist alive or dead that has yet to do this. While one of my personal favorites,Phil Keaggy,has played a lot of different techniqes,he will tell that he is not the best one out there.
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Unread 02-20-2006, 11:38 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by MJ_Avalanche
Listen to Wes and you'll be kicking yourself for saying that about Vai.
I won't deny that Wes is an incredible player. I have tons of respect for his ability on the instrument. But I think Wes would even admit that Vai is technically superior.

Quote:
While one of my personal favorites,Phil Keaggy,has played a lot of different techniqes,he will tell that he is not the best one out there
I've heard Vai in several interviews state that he is NOT the best. That there are guys who can do a lot of styles much better than he can (I'm sure he would probably admit that Wes could play jazz MUCH better than he could)
I'm just having fun with this, I'm not trying to say that I'm right
It's just opinion
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Unread 02-20-2006, 11:46 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KATMAN
...Phil Keaggy,has played a lot of different techniqes,he will tell that he is not the best one out there.
That's probably because he is smart enough and humble enough to know that there is no "best".

Frankly, I think that a conversation about comparing guitarists to the point that one must be better than another is a waste of valuable time.

The perception of one person as to which guitarist is technically better vs. one who has more feeling is almost shamefully prideful...as if there's a human being who has a grasp on all-things-feeling-and-technical in a musical context over someone else.

Please, don't turn this into a typical Harmony Central Guitar Jam thread.
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Unread 02-20-2006, 01:27 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtrdave
That's probably because he is smart enough and humble enough to know that there is no "best".

Frankly, I think that a conversation about comparing guitarists to the point that one must be better than another is a waste of valuable time.

The perception of one person as to which guitarist is technically better vs. one who has more feeling is almost shamefully prideful...as if there's a human being who has a grasp on all-things-feeling-and-technical in a musical context over someone else.

Please, don't turn this into a typical Harmony Central Guitar Jam thread.
Kinda useless like the disciples arguing who would sit at Jesus' right hand? Or, which guitar or amp is best.
You're right about the Harmony Central thing - I'm a refugee from there and I haven't been there in a long, long time.

Last edited by Hopeful; 02-20-2006 at 01:38 PM.
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Unread 02-20-2006, 02:37 PM   #38
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You guys are taking this way too seriously! it's just a simple, stupid, fun question! Of course there is no definitive answer to this question none of us are claiming this! It's all just a fun good natured debate
Lighten up a little
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Unread 02-20-2006, 03:12 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metropolis4
You guys are taking this way too seriously! it's just a simple, stupid, fun question! Of course there is no definitive answer to this question none of us are claiming this! It's all just a fun good natured debate
Lighten up a little
I hear what you're saying, but we (who have been in these types of forums here and elsewhere) see this all to often, so it does get old - you'll see. In the debate, too often what is lost is that there are a ton of good guitar players out there.
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Unread 02-20-2006, 04:34 PM   #40
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I agree with the points about how it gets old and there's no objective criteria by which to judge guitarists, but for the fun of it I'm gonna say Trey Anastasio. For those curious, you can stream live shows here and here.
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Unread 02-20-2006, 04:37 PM   #41
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Unread 02-20-2006, 05:00 PM   #42
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No no no. You guys are all wrong. Jesus' three piece band (Him, Father, and Holy Spirit) could totally outplay any of these people you have just listed. That'd be something very awesome to watch.
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Unread 02-22-2006, 11:01 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KATMAN
As far as I know,to be the best,you have to pretty much play all styles of guitar music.I don't know of any guitarist alive or dead that has yet to do this. While one of my personal favorites,Phil Keaggy,has played a lot of different techniqes,he will tell that he is not the best one out there.
You know, if you want to know who is really good, find out who the people you listen to admire. Phil Keaggy is a phenomenal guitar player. He admires the talent of Allan Holdsworth. Eddie Van Halen and John McLaughlin have also said very complementary things about Holdsworth. Does that mean he is the best? No, but he's definitely talented and worth listening to.

Eric Johnson, an incredible guitarist, was very influenced by Jeff Beck. I just read Alex Lifeson's guitar player interview where he talked about it being a dream come true when he went to hear Jimmy Page in concert and met him in person.

That would be a good forum question: Who does your guitar idol listen to?
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Unread 02-22-2006, 11:55 PM   #44
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Phil also speaks very highly of the playing of Pat Metheny, Michael Hedges, Jeff Beck and the Edge as well as many others.

I have a recording around someplace of Phil talking about the "best guitarist" thing with a loudmouth audience member during a show--I may have to go find it.

Eric Johnson thinks very highly of Phil.
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Unread 02-23-2006, 01:52 AM   #45
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NIGEL,NIGEL,NIGEL!!!
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Afterall, his goes to 11, doesn't it?
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